Last day to get a FREE copy of The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. Here is one last excerpt.
“Now, um…I guess I should get back to practicing,” sighed Rachel Griffin.
“Would you like to practice on an animate person?” asked Gaius Valiant. He spoke with a casual laid-back drawl, as if he were a spectator observing the drama of life and what he saw amused him.
Rachel’s eyes glittered with delight. “Sure!”
“Do you know the Word of Ending?” Gaius pulled off his robe and stood before her in a dark gray tee-shirt and sweat pants. He looked rather good that way. Not wanting to be caught staring, she averted her eyes. “It stops the effects of many cantrips and a bunch of other things, some hexes and jinxes. It’s best to know how to undo effects which may be caused in practice. Like, if you wanted to cast the paralyzing hex that I hear my dorm-mates used on you. In fact, why don’t we try that?”
Rachel’s face scrunched up. She eyed him hesitantly. “Is there something else that the Word of Ending is useful for that doesn’t require me to hex someone? What if I messed up the ending part, and you got stuck that way? That would be really embarrassing.”
He shrugged. “Well, I’d rather just be stuck here, in an out of the way place, until it wore off, than have you unable to turn me back from being a duck. Or unable to get the broccoli to stop growing from my ears. And you should practice the paralyzing hex anyway. It’s an enchantment, and it’s very useful.”
“Well…um….” She whistled the notes she had heard Cydney play the night before. Nothing happened.
Gaius smiled encouragingly. “You have to concentrate. Hold firmly in mind what you wish to accomplish.”
“Okay! Okay!” She shut her eyes tightly, as if bracing for a blow, and tried it again. She caught a whiff of pine. When she eventually opened her eyes, he was standing before her, straight as an arrow, with his arms at his sides.
“Oh!” Rachel clapped her hands to her face.
She stood there as if petrified herself. Finally, she started to raise her hand to perform the Word of Ending. Then, she paused and giggled a bit. A mischievous expression crept over her face. Walking forward, she stood on tiptoe and gave the frozen young man a very little kiss.
Running back, she formed a fist with a single finger up, and moved it horizontally in front of her, shouting, “Obé!” imitating the hand gesture motion and voice tone Magdalene had used when setting her free.
Then, she turned bright red, because, of course, now he could move and speak.
“Shall we do it again?” she cried.
Before he could answer, she whistled the same notes. Blue sparkles swirled around him, sweeping his hair upward. He froze again.
She freed him and froze him fifteen times in a row, until the whole hallway smelled of evergreen. Finally, she left him unfrozen. Surely, by now, enough time had passed that he would have forgotten the kiss.
He picked up his robe and crossed to where she stood. “One more time is appropriate I think.”
He leaned in and kissed her.
A shiver of energy rippled though her body and out her hair. She felt like a puffed-up cat on an All Hallows Eve decoration. She blushed from scalp to sole, but she felt tremendously happy.
Gaius smiled, but it was not the big, super confident smile he usually gave her. It was a bit toothier, and his cheeks, too, were sort of red.
“Well, distractions aside,” he said, “I will come by your table to get you tomorrow after dinner. I should get back to my room and actually study a bit.”
He turned and walked away at a slightly faster pace than a stroll.
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